Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps (Jennifer Senior Needs to Find Another Profession Department)
John Holbo writes:
Crooked Timber: So let's call it a wash and proceed straight to the improving moral. It is absurd to uphold moderation as a normative ideal in politics by simply refusing to acknowledge the possibility that it might have failed, in point of fact. (See Broder's most recent pair of columns, if you haven't already. And this Jennifer Senior book review, and this Digby review of the review.)
I used to be a practitioner of the Higher Broderism myself, in some ways. I'm trying to do better. What stings me is the conclusion of the Senior review. Two books on what's gone on with Bush and what's the moral of the story: "how important it is for writers to have a slight sense of humor about themselves." Yes. A whole quadrant of possible conclusions is excluded -- you just can't get there from here -- because it would be hard to get there while giving the audience a jolly "he said-she said" ride, which let's them back off at the same place where they bought their ticket. And this is effectively put forth as a sufficient reason for doubting the conclusions are true.